I like your analysis but consider two more plays please:
1) LSU at goal line right before halftime. The LSU qb runs for the end zone but is stopped by a host of defenders. Whistle blows as forward progress is stopped but he still is put on his arse. He looks up at the official to protest but to no avail. That showed me a tough attitude by the ND players.
2) I believe in the 4th quarter LSU ran a screen pass & Smith #10 did a 360 degree to get off his block and make the hit. Great individual play and determination.